The Russian violist and conductor Rudolf Barshai died on Tuesday at age 86. Barshai’s career intersected quite a bit with Shostakovich’s work: He arranged a number of the string quartets for chamber orchestras — most prominently, he reworked the eighth into the Chamber Symhony, op. 110a, which is popular in its own right — and conducted the premiere of Shostakovich’s fourteenth symphony with his Moscow Chamber Orchestra in 1969. He was also a founding member of the Borodin Quartet, which would become closely associated with the composer’s chamber works, and, of course, an estimable musician well beyond his association with the subject of this blog.
RIP Rudolf Barshai